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Connecting Teachers

Looking to connect with other teachers?  Want to get some fresh ideas for your grade level?  Interested in reviewing some lesson plan ideas?  Here are some websites that can help!


A to Z Teacher Stuff

A site devoted to all stuff teacher!  Here is what they say, “A to Z Teacher Stuff is a teacher-created site designed to help teachers find online resources more quickly and easily. Find lesson plans, thematic units, teacher tips, discussion forums for teachers, downloadable teaching materials & eBooks, printable worksheets and blacklines, emergent reader books, themes, and more.”

Edutopia – What Works in Education

Another excellent resource, this site funded by the George Lucas Educational Foundation offers a wealth of information including grade level content, blogs, core strategies, videos, community groups and examples of schools that work.  Visit today!


This interesting site permits members to access virtual bulletin boards.  You can search by topic or grade level to see some innovative pictures – a fun way to get some new ideas.


A community of elementary and middle school teachers and other professionals working in grades PreK-8.  This free-to-sign-up site features teacher forums by grade level and resources for a wide variety of topics such as teaching practices, classroom management, child development, shared leadership, reading and language arts, humanities, social studies, mathematics and science and technology.  Check it out!


TeachHUB provides K-12 teachers with free lesson plans, education articles, teaching tips, recommendations and professional development resources.


This is a huge, busy site that hosts 4500+ free lesson plans, searchable teacher job listings, 150+ social networking forums, teacher articles, educational resources, and a lot, lot more.

The Teacher’s

This site is free and does not require a membership.  You can access a broad range of content, including lesson plans, online collaboration projects for students, bulletin board patterns, daily writing prompts, pen pal service, teacher forums and much more.

CPAA in the CDCs!

CPAA in the CDCs!

Children‘s Progress Academic Assessment – CPAA – has been a component of individual assessment in many of MUSD’s primary classrooms for a number of years. Guess what?  This year marks the first complete school year that we will be also using the CPAA Pre-K component in the Rose and Sunnyhills Child Development Centers!  We are very excited to be implementing this child-friendly assessment tool.  We anticipate that CPAA use will help us to further explore early math and reading acquisition, to refine our understanding of each child’s current knowledge and to enhance our lesson planning and curriculum.


We are pleased to partner with our Elementary School teachers who currently use CPAA and we look forward to our rising Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students entering the 2013-2014 school year with enhanced general computer skills and specific CPAA experience – helping ease their moving up! transitions.

Healthy Habits ~ Here We Come!

Healthy Habits ~ Here We Come!

Are you hungry for some nutrition resources for the children in your class?  Want some help teaching about healthy habits and quality food choices?  The UCCE (University of California Cooperative Extension – Santa Clara County) can help!  Visit their website here and learn more about their programs for teachers just like you!  Their classroom support for teachers covers grades Pre-K through twelfth and includes: “research-based, fun, easy-to-use nutrition, gardening, and physical activity curriculum, nutrition lessons linked to Content Standards for California Public Schools, teacher training, and UCCE staff to assist in delivery of lessons in the classroom.”

Contact Information

Early Learning Transition Model Team

Ms. Kathleen Lincoln

Child Development Centers

Program Director, Retired


Ms. Toby S. Librande

Early Learning Transition Model

Grant Coordinator

408.635.2686 x5571


Ms. Linda Lambert

Milpitas Family Literacy Project

Program Coordinator, 2008-2016


Rose CDC

250A Roswell Drive

Milpitas, CA 95035


Sunnyhills CDC

356 Dixon Road

Milpitas, CA 95035

Please Note: The information on this website is presented as a public service. MUSD does not guarantee the accuracy of information provided by referenced sites or organizations and does not endorse their products or services.


Teaching the Whole Child

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Schools – elementary schools, preschools, child care programs, nursery schools, private schools, charter schools - all have an important role to play in helping children who are moving up! from one early grade to the next.  Communication with families, other professionals and the community will help each child get off to the best start in his new grade.   Together we can make a difference!

Merci Beaucoup!

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The MUSD Early Learning Transition Model (ELTM) recently hosted a celebratory Appreciation Event on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013, to recognize the successful first year of activities and thank our collaborators, teachers and partners who made the work possible.  The French-themed event ran from 3:30 – 5:00 at Sunnyhills Child Development Center and included:

  • a chance for teachers across schools and grades (Pre-K through 2nd) to meet and mingle
  • a short welcome and Early Learning Transition Model history walk by Kathleen Lincoln, Principal
  • a presentation on the state of birth-3rd grade alignment work across California by special guests Ernesto Saldaña and Hedy Anderson of Early Edge California
  • a table talk discussion session
  • delicious refreshments, and
  • a small token of appreciation for the attendees—a “Together Everyone Achieves More” geese lapel pin (Baudville, Inc.).


"With every flap of its wings, the lead bird in a flight of Canada geese is breaking through a wall of air, creating a swirling vortex that provides a “push” for each follower.  Some estimates show that geese in a V-formation can fly as much as 70 percent farther than they could fly alone.  It’s exhausting work for the lead bird, but Canada geese have an answer to that, too: they take turns.  When the leader drops back, another takes its place.  It’s good to be flying with you."


We were touched to have a robust turnout of teachers and administrators – twenty-four guests were in attendance (44% of our overall total participants were able to join us!).  Special tribute was paid to Ms. Amy Colvin from Burnett Elementary for her “Assistance Parfait”, to recognize her perfect attendance at our ELTM events over the past year.  The table talk portion of the program encouraged guests to discuss three topical questions across grade levels and schools.  Thanks to our table hosts, we were able to keep the discussions focused by setting these table talk etiquette guidelines:


Brevity:  Go for honesty and depth, but don’t go on and on

Curiosity:  Seek to understand rather than persuade

Diversity:  Invite and honor diversity of opinion

Equality:  Encourage all voices to be heard

Listening:  Respect one another

Sincerity:  Speak from the heart


Guests engaged in rich, meaningful dialogue as they considered the following questions:

  1. What are the most important things you would like to know about your incoming students each fall?
  2. What communication strategies work for sharing student information across grade levels?
  3. How do you use today’s technology in your classroom to enhance your teaching and to prepare your students to be tech-savvy citizens of the future?


Want to learn more?  Here are the links to the source documents:

Event Program

Table Talk Questions

Table Host Instructions

Transcription of Discussion Comments

On behalf of the ELTM project, we heartily thank all of our partners and look forward to what the future may bring.  “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  - Melody Beattie 

The Early Ed Alignment Puzzle

The Early Ed Alignment Puzzle

Definition of alignment


  1. arrangement in a straight line, or in correct or appropriate relative positions: the tiles had slipped out of alignment
  2. a position of agreement or alliance: a firm famous for its liberal alignment

​Copyright © 2013 Oxford University Press


So what does it mean when we look at aligning curriculum resources for birth through kindergarten?  Take a look at this handy CDE guide, The Alignment of the California Preschool Learning Foundations with Key Early Education Resources, 2012This comprehensive document strives to match up the following resources to place them in the correct or appropriate relative positions – a useful endeavor when we try to understand how the puzzle pieces fit together:

  • California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations,
  • California Content Standards,
  • The Common Core State Standards
  • Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework

Want to whet your appetite?  Check out this diagram from the guide, p. 17, which shows you how these resources line up.

"How do the DRDP, Learning Foundations and Kindergarten Common Core Standards align?", you ask.  How indeed! Thanks to our very own Kathleen Lincoln, Child Development Centers Program Director, we have a handy two page reference - click here to check it out.

"But what about old-school alignment?  How do the DRDP, Learning Foundations and Kindergarten Content Standards compare?", you ask.  Great question!  Check out Kathleen Lincoln's handy two page reference to see the olden-timey cross correlations - here.

Support for All Children

Teachers:  Are you looking for helpful strategies to support your inclusive classroom?  Do you have some developmental concerns about a student?  Are you interested in attending local trainings to learn more about classroom adaptations and inclusion?

Help is available!  Here are some organizations located in Santa Clara County that are ready and willing to lend a helping hand~

Inclusion Collaborative

(408) 453-6756

The Inclusion Collaborative is your partner in providing inclusive environments for children. We are committed to ensuring that children with disabilities and special needs have equal access to full participation in inclusive community and learning environments. Services we provide:

  • Advocacy and Access
  • Inclusion Support
  • Professional Development
  • Screening and Assessment Consultation
  • Free Inclusion Support Warm Line (408) 453-6651
  • Comprehensive Website including upcoming professional development and useful resources at

Inclusion Support Warm Line

(408) 453-6651

Educators and parents can contact the Warm Line for free support, information, and referrals resources for including children with special needs or disabilities in schools and the community. Services we provide:

  • Referrals to local resources, agencies, and services
  • Information for educators beginning or implementing inclusion
  • Answers to parents’ questions regarding inclusion
  • Packets on inclusion topics
  • Suggestions and resource referrals regarding challenging behaviors
  • Comprehensive Website including upcoming professional development and useful resources at

Parents Helping Parents

(408) 727-5775

Parents Helping Parents (PHP) strives to improve the quality of life for any child with any special need of any age, through educating, supporting and training their primary caregivers.  This hub agency provides a wide range of services - such as phone referral assistance, special interest support groups, vast resource library, assistive technology equipment, classes, workshops, speakers, presentations, and so much more.  Visit their website at or call for more information.

Get Outside and Learn!

Get Outside and Learn!

Are you interested in enriching your curriculum in an effective, fun, and low-cost way?  Do you want to see your students become healthier, more relaxed, more focused and ready for deeper learning?  The answer is simple!  Get your students outside for some natural learning in the natural world.  The Children and Nature Network can help!  Check out this site for lots of great ideas, research, strategies and activities to incorporate more nature into your day.  Click here to take a look at the Natural Teacher Network’s (NTN) eGuide – a handy resource for teachers Pre-K through High School - including 10 Reasons To Take Your Students Outside and much, much more!

The Outdoor Classroom Project is another essential resource for teachers who want to bring the learning outside.  This excellent website has a lot of pictures, ideas and resources to help early educators combine indoor and outdoor curriculum.  Want to learn more?  Watch this seven minute video (below) and see what the outdoor classroom concept is all about!

Welcome to the Outdoor Classroom Project

Joint Professional Development ~ A Win-Win for All!

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The Early Learning Transition Model Team held our first joint professional development get-together on April 24, 2012.  We brought Milpitas Unified School District preschool teachers, kindergarten teachers, literacy program coordinators and administrators together for a World Café event.  We asked everyone targeted questions about parent support, the first months of school/children’s transitions, and the Children’s Progress Academic Assessment program (click here to see the questions we asked).  We received a lot of great feedback and were pleased to provide a venue for cross-grade collaboration and networking.

♥  Click on the left hand sidebar for more resources  

Early Learning Transition Model ~ Generously funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation 2012-2013

Google Translate!

Ready for Kindergarten

Workshop Tool Kit

Are you a Parent Educator?  Center Director?  Preschool Teacher?  Are you looking for resources to share with your parents who have children of pre-Kindergarten age?  Listed below are some documents and links to help you offer a “Ready for Kindergarten” workshop or assemble a resource packet.  Additionally, visit First 5 Santa Clara County to review their Kindergarten resources, such as a streaming video, Trainer’s Manual and Parent Slide Show.

1.    Person First Terminology Bookmark (Inclusion Collaborative)a handy reference to explain what “person first” terminology is and why it is important.

2.    Inclusion Collaborative Brochure: this brochure explains the Inclusion Collaborative Support Services for inclusion of children with disabilities and special needs - for both parents and professionals.

3.    Inclusion Support Warm Line Flyer:  lists the contact information to call or email an inclusion support specialist who can offer one-on-one assistance.

4.    A Kiss for Kindergarten:  a touching short story about one mother’s feelings sending her boy off to Kindergarten.

5.    “I’m Ready for Kindergarten” Parent/Teacher Handbook: download this informative booklet from the First 5 Santa Clara County website which covers the building blocks of Kindergarten readiness, activities to do at home the year before Kindergarten, and so much more!  The booklet is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese.

6.    Top 10 Things to Do the Summer before Kindergarten (summary):  this handy one-pager is a cheat sheet for the most important activities parents of incoming Kindergarteners should focus on the summer before Kindergarten.

7.    Top 10 Things to Do the Summer before Kindergarten (detail):  this two-pager provides more information about the Top 10 things to do.

8.    Teacher Priorities for Skill Importance, Ease of Changing, and Amount of Time Spent:  Kindergarten teachers were surveyed about Kindergarten Readiness Skills – check out page 18 – you might be surprised as to what they said about the building blocks of Kindergarten Readiness!  (School Readiness in Santa Clara County, Results of the 2008 Assessment, ASR, Figure G, p. 18)

9.    I Can Do Standards! this useful document explains in child-friendly language what California Content Standards are expected to be mastered by the end of Kindergarten.  (Pajaro Valley USD 12/04/2009)

10.  MUSD Kindergarten Standards Based Report Card: take a peek at this link to view a sample standards based Kindergarten report card for Milpitas Unified School District.

11.  Starting School Book List 2012:  take this list with you to the library to find some age appropriate books for your child about starting school.

12.  Kindergarten Daily Schedulesome schools offer full day and others offer part-day Kindergarten programs – this document shows sample daily schedules for both types. 

♥ Shop ♥ Learn ♥ ♥ Create ♥ Connect ♥ 

Hands-on Education Starts at RAFT

Our local Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT) is a treasure trove of resources for teachers.  Educators may join RAFT for a small annual membership fee and then receive access to a whole host of products and services such as: shopping for materials at the warehouse, using the green room prep-equipment, attending workshops and receiving curriculum support.  Visit the RAFT homepage to learn more about the unique RAFT model - businesses donate materials and teachers reap the benefits.  You never know what you will find at RAFT!

Not only does RAFT offer tons of hands-on materials at very, very reasonable prices in their warehouse but they also have so much online.  Want to shop for ready-made kits, access online idea sheets, read some useful tips or catch up on a math blog?  RAFT has it all!   Here are some links below to get you started…

Educational Kits ~ each kit comes with materials for the hands-on project, curriculum topics list, number of students served, recommended grade level and idea sheet.  Some of the kits even feature an online video giving you ideas and suggestions on how to use the kit.

Kit Supplies ~ order your replacement items or make a unique kit of your own.

Educational Publications ~ need some concrete ideas for using common everyday objects to teach math and science?  Check out the RAFT publications for books such as “Science and Math with Office Supplies.”

RAFT Blogs find out what the RAFT staff is thinking about... examples of blog subjects include:

Integrated Learning - An Education Elixir?

RAFT and Common Core, and

Third Grade Ventures in Project Based Reports

Tip Sheets ~ we can all use some helpful tips now and again.  Check out RAFT’s handy hands-on tip sheets for topics such as:

Assessing Learning during Hands-On Activities

Classroom Management During a Hands-On Activity

Common Core Assessment – Hands-On Style!

Easy and Fun Math Night Projects

Idea Sheets ~ take some common everyday objects, add in some curriculum topics, sprinkle in a subject, toss in some instructions and voila!  You have a handy idea sheet to support your classroom instruction in a concrete, hands-on fashion.  RAFT offers over 650 idea sheets – and they are searchable by grade, subject and keyword.  Never be at a loss for a fun, relevant hands-on activity again.  To get a sense of the sheer volume of activity sheets available, take a look at this handy chart which maps RAFT idea sheets onto the math common core standards by grade.

Labeling for a Print Rich Environment

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Inquiring minds want to know - what is a Print Rich Environment, anyway?!  According to the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill California Treasures Reading Program, Glossary of Common Terms, the definition of a print rich environment is “an environment in which students are provided many opportunities to interact with print and an abundance and variety of printed materials are available and accessible.  Students have many opportunities to read and be read to.  In such an environment reading and writing are modeled by the teacher and used for a wide variety of authentic everyday purposes.”

One time-consuming, but important component of a print rich environment is tagging the common, everyday classroom items with written labels indicating the name of the object.  The more the children in the class can see the written word being associated with the concrete object, the more reinforced the connection becomes between print and the real world.  In addition to which, if the cubbies and cabinets are labeled with the word and the picture of the item which belongs there – it makes clean up a snap!   A place for everything, everything in its place…

But, this takes precious teacher time to label the whole room - and the labels frequently need to be replaced!  Don’t fear, there is a free(!) website that can help.  Visit Environments, Incand click on the Resources tab from the top menu.  You will find the “Just for Me” Label Maker as well as the Environments Resource Library.  The Label Maker resource hosts a variety of label and sign templates with a broad range of classroom materials photos and is fully customizable – plus there is a prepared document ready to print with common everyday classroom labels in English and Spanish.  Just print out the pages, cut and affix to the objects in your room.  Voila!  Print rich environment!

Want to learn more about classroom labeling?  Environments, Inc. also offers a handy Staff Training Aid.  Click here (select Staff Training Aids then scroll to the last article) to take a peek at the whys and wherefores of labeling – and how different kinds of labels will make your classroom environment speak for itself!

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